A video shared by Ariana shows the actress looking genuinely starstruck upon running into the iconic star at the Academy Awards.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 14, 2023. It has since been updated.
Ariana DeBose experienced a sudden wave of awe and admiration at the 95th Academy Awards on March 12, 2023, when she came face-to-face with the legendary Morgan Freeman. The 32-year-old Oscar winner was so overwhelmed by the moment that she shared their adorable interaction with her fans on Instagram. She posted a clip that captured the encounter which took place as they were both interviewed backstage for "Live with Kelly and Ryan." She wrote in the caption: "Wholesome moments only. It was an honor to meet you sir @morganfreeman!"
The video shows Freeman walking up to DeBose as she was speaking to hosts Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest. The actress' expression is priceless as she looks up to the 84-year-old Hollywood icon. Despite her success and achievements, a visibly starstruck DeBose appeared genuinely excited and humbled by the chance to meet someone she has long admired.
The encounter between the two stars is a testament to the powerful impact famous individuals can have on those who look up to them. After a few moments of staring at Freeman with wide eyes, DeBose pulled herself together and told Freeman, "I just really respect and love you a lot, sir. And my name's Ariana and it's a pleasure to meet you."
Freeman shook her hand and asked, "How do you do, Ariana?" and even asked the correct pronunciation of her name. DeBose spelled her name out for the legend before she started to walk away, saying: "And I'm gonna get out the way so you can talk to our good friends. You have a nice day."
"So far, so good, Freeman responded to which the "West Side Story" replied: "It's not too shabs, right?" As DeBose walked away from her encounter with Freeman, her jaw dropped in awe and admiration. Freeman himself appeared nonchalant about the encounter, telling Ripa and Seacrest that DeBose's reaction was typical of many actors who meet him for the first time.
Freeman's fame and talent have made him a fixture in the entertainment industry for decades. As a result, he has become accustomed to being in the company of fellow celebrities and those people who are starstruck by his presence. However, despite his revered status, Freeman remains humble and down-to-earth, always ready to engage with his fans and admirers.
DeBose, who won her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2022 for her brilliant portrayal of Anita in Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" remake, took to the stage at the 95th Academy Awards to present two prestigious awards. She was accompanied by Troy Kotsur, who was also a category champion. Together, they presented the awards for the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories.
It was undoubtedly a momentous occasion for DeBose, who was once again in the spotlight at the Academy Awards. Her previous win was a significant achievement in her career and presenting awards at the Oscars was yet another feather in her cap. The opportunity to present alongside Kotsur, another talented artist who has won critical acclaim for his work, and then meeting Freeman made the night all the more special for the young star.
THAT WAS MY FIRST THOUGHT, TOO. 😂😂— Chris Cantu (@JustSomeHeroKid) March 14, 2023